The Different Types of Hair Extensions Available on the Market Today
Here’s an in-depth list of all the different types of hair extensions, along with the pros and cons of each style to help you choose the right one for you!
The hair extension market is expected to generate $10 billion between 2018 and 2023.
If you want to experiment with different colors, textures, and have an instant fix to short hair, hair extensions are the answer.
But which types of hair extensions are best for you? We investigate.
Human Hair Extensions vs Synthetic
Permanent hair extensions fall into two groups: synthetic and human.
Human hair extensions are made of real hair that’s been collected from a donor.
The highest quality is Remy hair which means all the cuticles (the outer layer of the hair) are intact and runs in the same direction. This is one of the best kinds of hair extensions as there is no tangling, ensuring they stay silky smooth forever.
Synthetic hair is made from various synthetic, blended fibers which are very fine and made to imitate human hair. A major downside is that these types of extensions can’t be dyed or styled with heat.
Look and Feel
Both options come in an array of styles, colors, and forms of application. Synthetic fibers move differently from human hair, often stiffer, and can feel wiry.
As expected, human hair extensions feel real and blend well with your natural hair.
Quality and Lifespan
Out of the two, synthetic hair is cheaper which means it doesn’t last as long as it can be ruined by heat or the sun. Synthetic lasts a few months whereas human hair can last up to one year if it’s well taken care of.
Different Hair Extension Types
To understand different kinds of hair extensions, consider:
Clip-In Hair Extensions
This type of hair extensions offers an easy way to alter your hair’s volume, length, and color. Clip-in hair extensions come in a strand of contoured pieces, which you attach to the base with fabric or silicone.
All you have to do is clip in the pieces to your natural hair and you’re done! They’re perfect for those who want a zero-commitment and hassle option.
With proper care, your clip-in extensions can last from 3 months to a year, depending on which products you use and how often you wear the extensions.
- Adds fullness and body to your hair
- Quick and easy to install
- Can show wear and tear quickly
- Must be removed and installed every day
- Visible when installing incorrectly
- Not suitable if you experience serious hair loss
Weave Hair Extensions
Otherwise known as sewing hair extensions, a weave is handy if you have thick hair as you need plenty of hair to hide this type of hair extension.
Adding weave extensions is a long process, often taking several hours. Your natural hair is braided into a cornrow and the extensions are attached using a needle and a thread of cotton. But it’s essential they aren’t applied too tight otherwise they can tug on your scalp and feel heavy.
You should remove the weave every six to eight weeks and the maximum amount of time to have them is four months, as it can affect your natural hair’s growth.
And if you’re Googling “how to make black hair grow fast“, ensure you’re taking care of your hair or consider weave hair extensions for a quick fix.
- Cater to all hair types
- Protects your natural hair
- Instant length
- Can be expensive
- Not always the best quality
- Long application time
- Can cause discomfort and headaches
Fusion and Pre-Bonded Hair Extensions
These types of hair extensions use small keratin bonds that are melted and reformed around your hair to ensure they’re durable.
Fusion hair extensions are the most popular and the most discreet. Pre-bonded hair extensions can take four or more hours to apply and are permanent for six months, or until a professional remove them.
- Natural look
- Most durable method
- Keratin glue is safe for your scalp and natural hair
- Application is invisible
- Damages your natural hair
- Long application time
- Can experience discomfort (e.g. itchy scalp) within a few days after installing
- Only those with thick hair can do this method
Microlink Hair Extensions
This type of hair extension is applied by looping the extensions through small sections of natural hair with a silicone-lined bead. Next, a special tool is used to clamp the bead to the hair and tighten it to keep it in place.
The application process takes around two to four hours and can last up to six months.
- Quick application
- Can dye and treat like your own hair
- Natural hair blends well
- Don’t need a special product or heat to install them
- Extensions easily slip up and down
- Must be done by a professional
- Can cause pressure and pull at roots if tightened too much
- Requires frequent touch-ups
Tape-In Hair Extensions
Tape-in hair extensions are semi-permanent and use adhesive tape to attach hair extensions to your head.
They are great for thinner hair, when using single-sided tape, and don’t result in any damage. Tape-in extensions can last anywhere from six to twelve weeks too.
- Quick and easy application
- Looks seamless in your hair
- More expensive than other semi-permanent hair extensions
- Must be installed by a professional
- Low-quality hair extensions
- Can cause irritation if not applied properly
- Doesn’t last as long as other semi-permanent hair extensions
Now You Know the Different Types of Hair Extensions
There are many types of hair extensions but it’s essential you find the right one for you and your hair. It also depends on whether you want them in the long-term or for a quick, easy fix.
For example, consider tape-in hair extensions if you have thin hair because a weave would ruin your natural hair. Also, to ensure the application is right, get a professional to apply it for you. Good luck!
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